Led by a game-high 26 points from Myisha Hines-Allen, No. 7 Louisville overcame poor shooting - from the field and free throw line - to defeat No. 17 Kentucky 69-62 in overtime at the KFC Yum! Center on Sunday afternoon.
Following losses to top five opponents South Carolina and Maryland earlier in the week, Sunday's outing was a critical one for the Cardinals.
"It has been a pretty intense week," said U of L head coach Jeff Walz. "South Carolina on a neutral floor, Maryland here at home, and Kentucky here at home. It has been a very, very intense week. There are a few schools who have played a schedule three games in a row like that, but there aren't many. It shows just a little fortitude. I thought we showed a little will to win tonight."
After grabbing an 18-11 advantage in the first quarter, the Cardinals lost each of the next three quarters as Kentucky slowly fought back. Louisville collected nine more rebounds, handed out 10 more assists and had seven fewer turnovers than UK, but were able to connect on just 36.5 percent of its shot attempts and a dismal 45 percent from the free throw line.
"We missed a bunch of shots," said Walz.
Hines-Allen was 13 of 22 in scoring her season-high 26 points. Despite struggles shooting, Briahanna Jackson was key throughout, grabbing 10 rebounds and handing out eight assists. Cortnee Walton also pulled down 10 rebounds. Mariya Moore was close to a triple-double with eight points, eight assists and nine rebounds.
"We know we have to compete for 40 minutes, and from what coach Walz said last game, we knew we had to play with heart, and play with energy for the whole 40 minutes," Hines-Allen said. "It showed we played the whole 40 minutes. They are a great basketball team, so it wasn't going to be a dominant game from one side or the other."
The win was the first over the rival Wildcats since Dec. 5, 2010. The win evens the series when played in Louisville 12-12.
The Cardinals improved to 7-2 overall. Up next is a home contest against in-state rival Western Kentucky on Sunday, Dec. 10.